Hello and Welcome To This Weeks Episode!
So it’s episode 86 this week and oh what a week it has been here in Australia for our vegan community!
(wipes sweat from brow & swallows hard)
I was almost going to completely skip mentioning this weeks vegan protests here because #political and also #triggering but the thing is, I AM Vegan, I consider myself a member of the vegan community and if I’m honest, it is one of the parts of my own identity that I pride myself on the most.
“Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally” ~ A French Quote
Now first things, first - WATCH DOMINION BEFORE COMMENTING
“Knowledge makes a man unfit to be a slave” ~ Frederick Douglass
If you’d like to know more about what lead me to veganism, you can listen to my Multiple Sclerosis story here: https://www.corinnenijjer.com/the-podcast/2018/6/10/tmi-my-life-before-recovery-constipation-fatigue-headaches-pain-depression-loss-ms
In summary, when I gave birth to our son Iggy, I honestly felt like my heart cracked open in a way I never thought possible, I felt almost instantly connected to all mothers across the globe and their love, their immense suffering at the mere thought of losing their own human child. Breastfeeding my child one morning, I looked down at his sweet face and in that moment, I felt so much love for him, so much wonder at motherhood and what it means as a mother to love an infant so deeply, and then, out of nowhere, I extended that thought outwards, to cow mothers…
Honestly, I have wished I could turn off the switch that made me go vegan a million times since then because, quite frankly, it hurts.
It causes me physical pain in my chest to feel this much empathy to the suffering of animals, to feel this deeply about the treatment of non humans across the planet and like most people, I want to avoid experiencing pain as much as possible.
I wish I could turn it off, go back to mindlessly consuming the flesh and secretions of non human animals, but I can’t, I wouldn’t, and I won’t ever even though right now, as I type this, my heart is hurting, a well of tears is only moments from spilling from my eyes as a result of this weeks action. Never before have I felt so much misplaced hatred and anger directed at peaceful protesters in my life, people merely attempting to let the world know what is happening to the animals behind closed doors before they arrive perfectly packaged and ready for human consumption.
People are up in arms that protesters blocked off the city streets and held up traffic and ambulances even though this happens whenever there is a protest and yet no one seems to have considered that their own outrage stems from the fact these protesters were forcing them to look inwards at the suffering implicit in their personal food choices and no one likes to be made to feel those ‘icky’ feelings whilst on their commute. The thing that irks me most about people’s reaction to this is that mere days after 150 vegans stopped traffic at in the Melbourne CBD, 50,000 Union workers protested at the same intersection blocking traffic with not a negative word spoken against them by our government or the media.
50,000 Unionists are allowed to protest, but 150 vegans do the same thing, merely asking people to watch the Dominion documentary and all of Australia are burning vegans at the stake for delaying traffic and impacting ambulances, at the end of the day, we all know the difference in response by the government, the farmers and the general public is because none of us want to acknowledge what the vegans are trying to point out to us, that imprisoning, torturing and murdering animals for no reason is inherently wrong. Because most people consider themselves kind and compassionate but you can’t be kind and compassionate whilst also paying people to commit horrific violence towards animals. This realisation is more than most people can bear, it makes people them feel guilt and shame which they don’t want to feel, so rather than processing those icky feelings, they project them outwards, at the vegan community in the form of hatred, anger, bullying, harassment and violence. It’s easier to hate a vegan than deal with our own emotions in a healthy way.
“Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.” ~ Henry David Thoreau
People were outraged at activists going onto private property to get footage of the abuse that is perpetuated towards innocent animals on factory farms without considering that this footage is necessary in exposing the truth behind the animal agricultural industry, otherwise it’s just the vegans word against the often unquestioned and very convenient myth of the ‘happy cow’, of ‘humane slaughter’, of ‘free range’ of happy, loved animals giving their milk, eggs and flesh over willingly to farmers. In 2018, the majority of Australians have never stepped foot on a farm, most people have no idea where eggs, meat and dairy come from and these activists are desperately trying to help people make that connection. I agree that this would be frightening for farmers, but if that is the case, open your doors willingly to activists and let them film, let people see what really happens and make an informed choice for themselves and their families, open the doors to the slaughter houses. The farmers and slaughterhouses won’t do this because they would go out of business, and they would go out of business because the truth behind the choice to consume meat, eggs and dairy is simply too much for most humans to bear.
“You may choose to look the other way, but you can never say again that you did not know” ~ William Wilberforce
People are up in arms at vegans who take animals from farms but the thing is, if you knew someone who had an adorable puppy at their house that that they were punching that puppy in the head on a regular basis, and that they planned on killing it by gassing it in their garage before it had even reached the age of 4, we’d want to rescue that puppy. Now if we knew they kept it in the front yard at night… I think almost all of us would find that adorable puppy and steal it from that front yard whilst that family were sleeping because most of us flipping LOVE dogs! All vegans are asking is for people to extend their love for dogs, to ALL animals. It’s really quite simple and it’s the very least we can do for them.
“I prefer dangerous Freedom over Peaceful Slavery” ~ Thomas Jefferson
The truth behind the meat, egg and dairy industry is beyond anything that any of us want to imagine and you should know it, the animals deserve you to take a moment to bear witness to their suffering if you are not yet vegan: Click away from here and watch Dominion before commenting on this issue at all, ever.
So with all the anger, hatred, and threats of violence and death being hurled at vegans at the moment (sometimes by vegans themselves), why wouldn’t I just cover my eyes, block my ears and go back to a peaceful, non-vegan existence?
Because my suffering pales in comparison to the suffering of the 56 billion animals we enslave, torture and kill each year. No one is shoving their fist into my anus and vagina to impregnate me, kill my newborn baby and then imprison me for the milk I make for my dead baby. No one is grinding up my sons in a mascerater because they won’t lay eggs. No one is punching me in the head, pinning me on the ground and shearing off my body hair to make a cute cardigan. No one is locking me in a sow stall, unable to move watching my babies beg me to play with them, to cuddle them, to care for them when they’ve been injured and being completely unable to do so…
The animals can’t share their own stories online, they can’t ask you to stop, so it’s the job of vegans to speak on their behalf, to share their stories everywhere and as often as possible.
The animals can’t wait for a mythical day in the year 4890 when humans finally feel compassion towards animals, they can’t wait, their lives depend on us making that connection as fast as possible and by every conceivable means possible.
Unfortunately, along the way toward a more peaceful and sustainable planet, people will behave poorly from a place of desperation, mistakes will be made and ongoing disruptive protests will upset many, many people, especially those who profit from human ignorance and sometimes these actions won’t be in alignment with our current legislation, but just because something is currently against the law, that doesn’t make those actions are inherently wrong. Laws should exist to protect the innocent, including the animals and the planet, they shouldn’t exist to protect those who profit from harming the planet and the animals, whilst jailing those who are fighting for kindness and compassion for all.
Although I have been highly emotional and distressed this week as a result of everything that has gone on, and even though I personally may never be brave enough to undertake activism of this kind, I am so so grateful to the fearless activists who risked their freedom to highlight the lack of freedom animals across the globe experience every single day. I am also overwhelmingly overjoyed at the coverage of this issue across the mainstream media platforms, even the rage being expressed by so many is valuable because it means that there is a discussion where there previously was none.
This discussion was very much needed.
The animals have been ignored for far too long and this week their voices were heard loud and clear and it couldn’t have come a moment too soon for the future of the animals, for the future of humanity and for the future of this planet.
“If there is no struggle, there is no progress” ~ Frederick Douglass
Now that I’ve blurted out so much pent up YUCK that I’ve been holding in all week and dumping on Ranjit at any given chance (sorry Ranjit!!) let’s talk about this weeks guest!
Firstly, let me just say that she was an absolute DELIGHT!
I love having Dieticians on the show because they provide so much credibility to a low fat, whole food, plant-based and quash any skepticism people might have towards a diet that eliminates animal products in the search for optimal health and the reversal of chronic disease. Alison is so very likeable that I know whom ever she meets, she is going to be such an incredibly positive alliance for the whole food, plant-based movement and this makes me so happy. :-)
Alison is a registered dietitian board certified in oncology nutrition. Her passion for preventing, managing, and reversing chronic diseases with nutrition and a healthy lifestyle led her to create Wholesome LLC in 2015. Alison’s focus on nutrition recommendations strongly rooted in scientific evidence to help others take their health into their own hands, especially for patients who encounter a cancer diagnosis. When she’s not buried in nutrition research or working with clients, you can typically find her exercising, spending time with her husband and daughter, or developing new plant-based recipes in the kitchen. She is beyond excited for you to join her community via her website and social media at the following links:
Follow Alison here:
Here’s some more info about Alison:
I’m Alison. An extreme nutrition nerd, dietitian and founder of Wholesome LLC.
How did you fall in love with nutrition?
My love for nutrition started as an athlete seeking high performance. But even as a college athlete, my nutrition focus pivoted and I started to focus on nutrition as a preventative and management tool for chronic diseases. My family has come face-to-face with cancer too many times. And through those experiences, I started to seek how nutrition could play a role, alter or improve outcomes.
What are your credentials?
My passion drove me to earn a B.S. in Dietetics and M.S. in Nutrition and Fitness, along with a board certification in oncology nutrition.
What do you do as an Oncology Dietitian?
Most of my career I has been an outpatient oncology dietitian. The focus of my role was to assess patient’s nutrition status during the course of their treatment and ensure they were adequately nourished because we know from research that those who are adequately nourished through treatment have reduced side effects, morbidity, and mortality.
What is your approach to cancer care?
I truly believe in educating individuals the reasons as to why I make the recommendations I do. When an individual understands the reason behind a change or incorporating something into their current lifestyle, it increases their success. Every recommendation I make is focused on scientific evidence and using the best available information to improve health and prevent disease. I love to make the most confusing scientific information easy to understand.
What made you start Wholesome LLC
Over the years, my passion for prevention grew even more as I continued to research the best care for my patients and anyone in the community who sought to reduce their risk of cancer--and other chronic diseases. That’s why I started Wholesome. To spread the awareness of nutrition and healthy lifestyle beyond the local cancer center.
Why do you focus on other chronic diseases?
Additionally, my twin sister, Lauren was diagnosed and struggling with complications of a lupus diagnosis. The day Lauren was diagnosed, I opened my textbooks, reviewed the research, and was determined to figure out a way to help. That’s when my world opened up to more than just cancer nutrition, but chronic disease nutrition. The more research I found was eye opening. We started to use similar practices I recommended for my cancer patients for Lauren--and myself.
If someone were to learn one thing from you, what you want it to be?
Eat more plants!
Thank you so much Alison for coming on the show and thank you all so much for listening.
See you all next week and in the meantime, please go give and hug a vegan, we need it x
Love Corinne x